What Factors Affect Conversion Rates?
Improving conversion rates throughout your eCommerce website is not a ‘do-once’ task; there are many ongoing factors that can influence this metric, so it needs constant monitoring.
This is more than making a quick tweak to your imagery or pushing out a lot of marketing – the success of your conversion rates come down to the nitty gritty of your eCommerce website
Is the look and feel of your website coming across as a confident and trusted brand? This may seem like one of those ‘no right answer’ questions but the truth is, there is a way to make sure.
Examining your UX will give you insight into how your customers are using your website;
- Heat Maps – use these to see where your customers are clicking on the page. Are your CTAs getting noticed or are customers getting distracted by other functions on the page?
- Scroll maps – these tools allow you to see the percentage of your customers that scroll down the page. If the majority of your customers are staying above the fold but your CTA is below the fold, this will affect your conversions.
- A/B Testing – Performing A/B tests will allow you to see what works and what doesn’t. You can test single aspects of a page, such as a H1 or imagery, or test different versions of the overall page design.
Is your website fast or do customers have to wait a few seconds for a page to load? In this day and age, timing is everything and shoppers are impatient. Making them wait for your page to load is a sure-fire way to send them elsewhere.
1. Add An Index
If you have a database with a very high number of products, this will affect your load speed. In order to minimise this, add in an index. It will help find the information required a lot faster and get that page up quicker.
2. Simplify Your Code
When looking at the front-end of a page, it is easy to forget all the code behind it that makes it work. Sometimes though, you need to take a closer look behind the scenes to see if something there is slowing down your site.
Too much analytics software, unnecessary share buttons, as well as embedded video and imagery, or errors in your code, can all affect the performance of a page. Strip out anything you don’t need and check for errors.
Caching images and data from your websites will mean that the user’s device doesn’t need to download everything each time they visit the page.
This also means that page load time decreases when they move from page to page within your site.
Call To Actions
If you take a handful of different page types, how many different CTAs do you have? Is the action you want them to perform, (Call Now, Sign Up, etc…) clearer than the rest?
The 1:1 Ratio can help you here. This is the idea that one page should only have one CTA. Any more than that and you risk diluting your message and distracting your customer from converting.
Having a defined message as to what you want your customers to do is also important. Be crystal clear and use A/B testing to establish which phrases and colours work best at attracting that click from the customer.
You’ve heard it a lot over the last few years now, but some people still haven’t made the move to mobile responsive designs. If you want to keep up, you need to know how your website will look on smaller screens and which functions need to take precedence in order to maintain your conversion rate.
- Firstly, does the framework condense down and have all pages been laid out adequately?
- Secondly, have all unnecessary functions been removed from sight to save space and bring focus on the main elements?
- Thirdly, do the pages load quickly?
In order to ensure your transition to mobile responsive is a success, you need to be able to check off all three of these questions.
What is it about you that’s different? That’s the question to ask if you want to understand the mind of your customer.
Customers will always ask ‘why should I buy from you?’ To answer this, you must be able to say what additional value you can bring to the purchase.
These values are known as Unique Selling Points (USPs) and they are invaluable if you want to improve your conversion rates. Some of the most commonly seen USPs are;
- Free delivery
- Discounts when a certain amount is spent
- Free returns
- Cheapest price
Quality Of Traffic
Are the right people coming to your website in the first instance?
This comes down to where you are marketing and where your customers are looking for products. Gaining a back-link from another website to your product is great, but only if the link comes from a high quality and trusted source. Avoid low-quality or ‘spammy’ websites to promote your business.
Additionally, very few customers will make a purchase without browsing around first and recommendations can make a big difference to their decision.
Trusted review websites, forums and social media are three of the main tools customers use when shopping online and so you should make sure the signals you are sending out through these channels are positive whenever possible.
Do you have options for customers to get their items sooner if they choose, and are your rates competitive and in line with the rest of the market?
Delivery and shipping costs are an important factor in a customer’s decision to buy and can seriously affect your conversion rates if improperly handled. Search the market and see what options you competitors are offering. You need to be as good or better if you want to make that sale.
How many payment methods do you have, and are you catering for those who like to use services like PayPal, as well as those who like to enter card details straight into your checkout?
The online shopper demographic is varied and you can’t assume that everyone will have the very latest payment system in place. PayPal is still a very common form of payment but there are others, so don’t restrict your customer base by limited the options.
Ease Of Access
Can your customers access the information or products that they are searching for easily?
You may have added a CAPTCHA form in order to filter out spam submissions, but you may be harming your conversion rate at the same time. If you do use a spam filter like this, try turning it off and seeing if this improves your conversion rates.